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Stamps commemorating the journey of Indian women

On the occasion of International Women's Day, let us salute to famous Indian women who proved to the world that Indian women too are much progressed and have showcased their talents at the world level and have excelled in their chosen field. Their great achievements and unique things they did in their life have became inspirational to the women folk of India.

Department of Posts has honoured contemporary women personalities of India by issuing commemorative stamps in their honour.

Here I present a list of women personalities who have established themselves as role models for Indian womanhood and have been commemorated on postage stamps of India. This list also includes Stamps issued on theme related to girl child or woman and foreign Women personalities who contributed to various fields in India and have been commemorated on Indian Postage Stamps.

Name of Personality
Details
Date of Issue of Stamp
Stamp Images
Meera
(Mira Bai)
a Hindu mystic poet and devotee of Krishna. She was one of the most significant Sants ("true" or "saints") of the Vaishnava bhakti movement. Some 1,300 pads (poems) commonly known as bhajans (sacred songs) are attributed to her.
01.10.1952
Meera
Rani Lakshmi Bai
(1828-1858)
An expert in warfare, fought against the British.
15.08.1957
[Centenary of India’s 1st War of Independence-(1857-1957)]
Rani Lakshmi Bai
Madam Bhikaiji Cama
(1861-1936)
A Parsi, known as Mother of Indian Revolution, took an active role in Freedom Struggle. She unfurled Indian National Flag with Vande Mataram in Germany for the 1st time in a foreign soil.
26.01.1962
Madam Bhikaiji Cama
Ramabai Ranade (1862-1924)
Married Madhav Govind Ranade, a Social Reformer, who gave her Education. She worked for Women`s cause, founded Seva Sadan. She was a volunteer visitor to central prison, lunatic asylum of Yerawada & met Women prisoners.
15.08.1962
Ramabai Ranade
Dr (Mrs.) Annie Besant (1847-1933)
Irish by birth English by manner & Indian by adoption, she came to India in 1893, worked for Education, Socialism, Trade Unionism, Rights off Working Women. Founded India Home Rule League-1916. Cover shows-Theosophical Building, Madras
01.10.1963
Dr(Mrs.)Annie Besant
Mrs. Eleanor Roosevelt
15th Anniversary of the Universal of Human Rights.
10.12.1963
Mrs. Eleanor Roosevelt
Sarojini Naidu
(1879-1949)
Known as Nightingale of India (as her lyrics had a quality of Bird song) a great Poet & good orator.
13.02.1964
Sarojini Naidu
Kasturba Gandhi (1869-1944) She stood by her husband Mahatma Gandhi through out.
22.02.1964
Kasturba Gandhi
Rural Woman Tea plucking-Rural Female Workforce in Agriculture, Industries is 90% of total Female labor. In Farming around 60%, 1991 World Bank reports that Women accounted 94% of total employees in Dairy production in India. 51% of total work in Forest based Small Scale Industries. Mahila Lijjat another example. Urban Female workforce-30% in Software.
15.08.1965 (4th Definitive Series)
Rural Woman
Sister Nivedita
(1867-1911)
Inspired by Swami Vivekananda, came to India, adopted Indian custom, worked for women`s Education
27.10.1968
Rural Woman
Marie Curie
(1867-1934)
Great Scientist, discovered Radium & Radioactivity ,got Noble Prize twice
6.11.1968
Marie Curie
Dr. Maria Montessori (1870-1952) International Education Year-1970.Non-Violence towards the child is the basis & the path of Education as a help to life.
31.08.1970
Dr. Maria Montessori
Kamala Nehru
(1899-1936)
She married J.L.Nehru and was a moral support to him. Inspired by Gandhiji she took an active role in Freedom Struggle. Cover depicts Kamala Nehru Hospital inaugurated by Mahatma Gandhi on 28.2.1941.
01.08.1974
Kamala Nehru
International Women’s Year UN General assembly. Theme: Equality, Development & Peace
16.02.1975
International Women’s Year
Ahilya Bai Holker (1725-1795) A good ruler & Administrator, developed Textile Industry in Maheshwar
04.09.1975
Ahilya Bai Holker
Subhadra Kumari Chauhan
(1904-1948)
UP-an aggressive Hindi Poetess with patriotic fire of Joan of Arc & lyricism of Meera. Married Thakur Laxman Singh, joined vNon-Cooperation Movement. She was the 1st Woman Satyagrahi to be arrested.
06.08.1976
Subhadra Kumari Chauhan
Education for Women SNDT Women University, Bombay. Dr. Dhondo Keshav Karve started it in 1916, later funded & expanded in1920 by Sir Vithaldas Thackersey, in the memory of his mother, then the University came to be known as Shreemati Nathibai Damodar Thackersey Indian Women's University.
03.09.1976
SNDT Women University
Mother, Child and Parenting 15th International Congress of Pediatrics
23.10.1977
15th International Congress of Pediatrics
The Mother
(1878-1973)
Spiritually inclined, she worked with Sri Aurobindo in 1904 at Auroville, Pondicherry.
21.02.1978
The Mother
Hill Woman,
Modern Indian Painting
Painting by Amrita Sher Gill (1913-1941)
23.03.1978
Hill Woman
Welthy Housinger Fisher
(1879-1980)
(Melodious Opera Singer, came to India met Gandhi & Tagore, started Adult Education in Rural India & built Saksharata Niketan.
18.03.1980
Welthy Housinger Fisher
Helen Keller
(1880-1968)
Helen Keller was deaf, blind, mute, wrote autobiography-The Story of my life, contributed immensely to the society through her lectures, books
27.06.1980
Helen Keller
Mother Teresa
(1910-1997)
Came to India in 1929 as a Teacher, founded Missionaries of Charity in Calcutta in 1950, and dedicated her life to serve Leprosy patients, orphans, elderly & handicapped with Love. She was the 1st Indian Woman to get Noble Peace Prize.
27.08.1980
Mother Teresa
Woman in Field of Rubber Tapping Rubber Tapping Industry
23.11.1980
(6th Definitive Series)
Woman in Field of Rubber Tapping
Woman in Dairy and Farming Milk and Dairy Industry
25.01.1982
(6th Definitive Series)
Woman in Dairy and Farming
Meera Behn, (Madeleine Slade)
(1892-1982)
Inspired by Mahatma Gandhi, she dedicated her life to India`s Freedom Struggle.
09.08.1983
Meera Behn
Begum Hazrat Mahal Wife of Nawab Wajid Ali Shah of Lucknow, fought with the British & died in Nepal-1879
10.05.1984
Begum Hazrat Mahal
Indira Gandhi
(1917-1984)
She joined Freedom Struggle at an early age, became PM in 1966 & 1980. Let us not shed Blood, let us shed Hatred.
19.11.1984
Indira Gandhi
Indira Gandhi
(1917-1984)
Crusader for World Peace
31.01.1985
Indira Gandhi
Nellie Sen Gupta (1886-1973) Married Jatindra Mohan Sen Gupta in 1909 came to Chittagong joined Freedom Struggle & died in Calcutta.
22.07.1985
Nellie Sen Gupta
Indira Gandhi
(1917-1984)
In the Service of the Nation
31.10.1985
Indira Gandhi
Computer Education for Girl Children's Day
14.11.1985
Indira Gandhi
Indira Gandhi
(1917-1984)
Priyadarshini
19.11.1985
Indira Gandhi
Shree Shree Ma Anandamayee
(1896-1892)
Widely travelled & led a Spiritual life
01.05.1987
Shree Shree Ma Anandamayee
Rukmini Devi
(1904-1986)
Influenced by Theosophical Society & Russian Ballerina-Anna Pavlova she learnt Bharatanatyam & established Kalakshetra in 1936, had multifaceted contributions earned many awards.
27.12.1987
Rukmini Devi
Rani Avanti Bai (Avanti Bai Lodhi) Fought the British in 1857 & became a martyr in 1858.
20.03.1988
Rani Avanti Bai
Rani Lakshmi Bai (1828-1858) An expert warrior, First War of Independence
09.05.1988
Rani Lakshmi Bai
Rani Durgavati A warrior from Chandela dynasty, propagated development, Education, fought Mughals & became a martyr in Jabalpur
24.06.1988
Rani Durgavati
Rajkumari Amrit Kaur (1889-1964) 1st Woman to hold Cabinet post of Minister of Health from 1947 to 1957.She was the founder member of All India Women`s Conference. She launched AIIMS, New Delhi. She also encouraged Sports.
13.04.1989
Rajkumari Amrit Kaur
Pandita Ramabai (1858-1920) Sanskrit Scholar, knew 7 languages, rebelled caste system, worked for Women`s Education, built Sharada Sadan in 1889
26.10.1989
Pandita Ramabai
Playful Girl - Care for The Girl Child SAARC Year of the Girl Child
05.09.1990
Playful Girl
Mahadevi Verma (1907-1987) Contributed to Hindi Literature, one of the founders off women`s Education in UP& voiced her concerns for Women.
16.09.1991
Mahadevi Verma
Kamladevi Chattopadhyaya (1903-1988) A Social Reformer, Great Freedom Fighter, worked for upliftment of Women & Cooperative Movement & established Crafts Council.
29.10.1991
Kamladevi Chattopadhyaya
Kamladevi Chattopadhyaya (1903-1988) A Social Reformer, Great Freedom Fighter, worked for upliftment of Women & Cooperative Movement & established Crafts Council.
29.10.1991
Kamladevi Chattopadhyaya
Sisters of Jesus & Mary
(1842-1992)
150th Anniversary of Arrival in India
13.11.1992
Sisters of Jesus & Mary
Nargis Dutt (Fatima Rashid)
(1929-1981)
Known as Lady in White & for her film Mother India, was an actress par excellence. Formed formed the Ajanta Arts Cultural Troupe. She started a Spastic Society in 1972. A Cancer Hospital has been built in her name.
30.12.1993
Nargis Dutt
Rani Rashmoni (1793-1861) Fought the British & did lot of philanthropic activities.
09.04.1994
Rani Rashmoni
Kasturba Gandhi
(1869-1944)
Tribute to Kasturba
22.02.1996
Kasturba
Sister Alphonsa (1910-1946) 1st Woman Saint from India.
19.07.1996
Sister Alphonsa
Ahilyabai Holkar (1725-1795) Ruled her state, developed Textile Industry at Maheswar, built Temples/Ghats.
25.08.1996
Ahilyabai Holkar
Rani Gaidinliu
(1915-1993)
Inspired by Gandhiji ,a Freedom fighter, Political Leader, Social Reformer & the the only Woman Freedom Fighter to spend 15yrs in British Jails & was awarded Tamrapatra & Padmabhushan
12.09.1996
Rani Gaidinliu
Girl Child Education SAARC 10th Anniversary
08.12.1996
>Girl Child Education
Thirumathi Rukmini Lakshmipathi
(1892-1951)
A freedom fighter worked for women`s cause & Education
06.08.1997
Thirumath Rukmini Lakshmipathi
Rural Indian Women Woman of Arunachal Pradesh
15.10.1997
Rural Indian Women
Rural Indian Women Woman of Gujarat
15.10.1997
Rural Indian Women
Rural Indian Women Woman of Ladakh
15.10.1997
Rural Indian Women
Rural Indian Women Woman of Kerala
15.10.1997
Rural Indian Women
Savitribai Phule (1831-1897) Fought for women`s Rights, Education, Widow Remarriage, removal of Untouchability
10.03.1998
Savitribai Phule
Aruna Asaf Ali
(1909-1996)
A Great Freedom Fighter
16.07.1998
Aruna Asaf Ali
Indian Women in Aviation Woman Pilots
05.10.1998
Indian Women in Aviation
Education for Girls Bethune Collegiate School, Calcutta. 1st recognized Government Institution for the Education of Girls in Bengal, founded by John Elliot Drinkwater Bethune in 1849-made Asoka tree as a symbol of Female Education in India.1st Lady Doctor of Bengal Kadambini Ganguly, 1st Lady Graduate Chandramukhi Bose are from this college.
07.05.1999
Bethune Collegiate School
Jijabai
(1598-1674)
Mother of Shivaji, symbol of Motherhood& inspired Shivaji to fight his rivals.
07.07.1999
Jijabai
Arati Gupta Saha (1940-1994) 1st Woman in Asia to swim The English Channel in 1959 covering 42miles in 16hrs 20minutes.A Pioneer in Aquatics, she started swimming at the age of 4years.
29.09.1999
Arati Gupta Saha
Vijaya Lakshmi Pandit (1900-1990) Younger sister of Jawaharlal Nehru, 1st Woman President of UN General assembly (1953-54) took active role in freedom struggle.
15.08.2000
Vijaya Lakshmi Pandit
Jhalkari Bai Fought the British in 1857, she is alive in the folklore of Bundelkhand (Jhansi)
22.07.2001
Jhalkari Bai
Rani Avanti Bai Queen of Ramgarh, fought against British in 1857& became a martyr on 20.3.1858.
19.09.2001
Rani Avanti Bai
Vijaya Raje Scindia (1919-2001) Worked for social/political causes/ upliftment of Women, weaker sections & for Education.
20.12.2001
Vijaya Raje Scindia
Chandraprabha Saikiani
(1901-1972)
Social Reformer. Fought for Women's cause & their Education. Known for her Poetry & Novels.
12.08.2002
Chandraprabha Saikiani
Kanika Bandopadhyay (1924-2000) Exponent of Rabindra Sangeet & Classical Music learnt under Rabindranath Tagore at Shyamala, Shantiniketan. A great Singer, Teacher, Writer, Social Worker and Artist. She worked for AIR.
12.10.2002
Kanika Bandopadhyay
Tamralipta Jatiya Sarkar (Matangini Hazra)
(1869-1982)
A great Freedom Fighter & became a Martyr.
17.12.2002
Tamralipta Jatiya Sarkar
Mukta Bai
(1279-1299)
Poet Saint, conveyed spiritual message to common people through universal love. Abhang was her meter.
30.05.2003
Mukta Bai
Allah Jilai Bai
(1902-1992)
Born in a family of Musicians, she sang in the court of Maharaja Ganga Singh .At 8yrs of age, learnt Dadra, Thumri & Dance under Ustad Husain Baksh.
29.12.2003
Allah Jilai Bai
Neerja Bhanot
(1963-1986)
Awarded Asoka Chakra for Bravery. She fought hijackers & laid down her life. She is the only Indian to have conferred with heroism Award of The Flight Safety Foundation.
08.10.2004
Neerja Bhanot
Dr. T. S. Soundram (1904-1984) Joined Quit India Movement & setting up Gandhigram, she built Sowbhagya Illam & Sevikashrams in villages. A Pioneer of Women`s early campaigners for liberating Women from Illiteracy, Social Injustice & Inequality.
02.10.2005
Dr. T. S. Soundram
Woman and new born child Newborn Health in India
24.11.2005
Woman and new born child
M. S. Subbulakshmi (1916-2004) Her guru was her mother Mrs. Shanmukhavadivu, an eminent Veena Artist. She started singing at the age of 13yrs, learnt Carnatic Vocal & performed in AIR. She was the Cultural Ambassador of India. Nehru named her as Queen of Songs.
18.12.2005
M. S. Subbulakshmi
Girl’s School Indraprastha Girl’s School, 1st Girls School in Delhi inspired by Dr Annie Besant
08.07.2006
Indraprastha Girl’s School
Women’s Day International Women`s Day is celebrated globally for the glory of Women`s Economic, Political &Social achievement. Right to Equality & Non-discrimination are justifiable fundamental rights under Indian Constitution. Protection of Women from Domestic Violence (October 2005) is the 1st of its kind.
08.03.2007
 
 
 
Mother India (Movie) Mehboob Khan who made women oriented epic films like Mother India, remake of film Aurat & a tribute to Indian Womanhood
30.03.2007
Mother India
Madhubala
(Mumtaz Begum Jehan Dehlavi)
(1933-1969)
Known as Venus of Indian Cinema, had a mass magnetic appeal. She started acting at 9yrs of age, noted by Devika Rani Roerich & named her Madhubala. She married Kishore Kumar in 1960.
18.03.2008
Madhubala
Violet Alva
(1908-1969)
1st woman Lawyer to appear in front of Bombay High court to defend her husband. Journalist, Freedom Fighter
20.11.2008
Violet Alva
Indira Gandhi Builder of Modern India
01.12.2008
(10th Definitive Series)
Indira Gandhi
Thillaiyadi Valliyammai
(1898-1914)
Inspired by Gandhiji she active role in the Freedom Struggle
31.12.2008
Thillaiyadi Valliyammai
Rani Velu Nachchiyar (1750-1796) Knew 6 languages, well versed in literature & Warfare, fought British with valour.
31.12.2008
Rani Velu Nachchiyar
Girl Child National Girl Child Day
05.02.2009
Girl Child
Mother Teresa
(1910-1997)
Builder of Modern India
01.03.2009
(10th Definitive Series)
Mother Teresa
Dr. Dineshnandini Dalmia
(1928-2006)
Firebrand Author & Poet, 1st Indian Woman to write confessional Poetry & 1st Woman Post-Graduate of Rajasthan. She rebelled Purdah System & fought Gender bias.
11.10.2009
Dr. Dineshnandini Dalmia
Jeanne Jugan
(Sister Mary of the Cross)
(1792-1952)
Also known as Sister Mary of the Cross, L.S.P., was a French woman who became known for the dedication of her life to the neediest of the elderly poor.
29.10.2009
Jeanne Jugan
Lady Doctors and Nurses Contribution in Healthcare Field, Apollo Hospitals
02.11.2009
Lady Doctors and Nurses
Kranti Trivedi
(1930-2009)
Wrote in Hindi on Women issues, wrote books & manuscripts
29.10.2010
Kranti Trivedi
Thanjavuru Balasaraswathi (1918-1984) Born in a family of Musicians. Awarded Sangeet Natak academy, Padma Bhushan & Sangeet Kalanidhi.
03.12.2010
Thanjavuru Balasaraswathi
Veenai Dhanammal (1867-1938) Born in a family of Musicians & Dancers,learnt Veena & Vocal,Padas,Jhavalis were her forte, career spanned over 60 years
03.12.2010
Veenai Dhanammal
Woman Dancers Woman Dancers performing Kalbelia Dance
15.12.2010
Women Dancers
Mary Ward
(1585-1645)
Roman Catholic Nun from Yorkshire. worked for Women`s Education, came to India in 1842-Loreto Institutions
02.02.2011
Mary Ward
Kanan Devi (1916-1992) Legendary Heroine and Singer(Bengali Style). Indian actress and singer. She was among the early singing stars of Indian cinema, and is credited popularly as the first star of Bengali cinema. Wrote autobiography Sabare ami nomi(1973)
13.02.2011
Kanan Devi
Meena Kumari (Mahjabeen Bano) (1932-1972) Legendary Heroine and poet. She is regarded as one of the most prominent actresses to have appeared on the screens of Hindi Cinema. Born in Bombay, married Kamal Amrohi wrote Urdu poetry under pen name- Naaz, some of them were compiled by Gulzar.
13.02.2011
Meena Kumari
Nutan Samarth Bahl (1936-1991) Legendary Heroine. Better known as Nutan, was an Indian actress. She appeared in more than 70 Hindi films in a career spanning over four decades.
13.02.2011
Nutan
Leela Naidu (1940-2009) Legendary Heroine who starred in a small number of Hindi and English films, including Yeh Raaste Hain Pyar Ke, based on the real-life Nanavati case, and The Householder, Merchant Ivory Productions' first film. Born in Bombay, Femina Miss India-1954, featured in Vogue as top 10 most beautiful women in world.
13.02.2011
Leela Naidu
Savitri (1933-1981) Kommareddy Savitri an Indian film actress, director and producer. She appeared in Telugu as well as Tamil, Kannada and Hindi language films. In 1960, she received the Rashtrapati Award for her performance in the Telugu film Chivaraku Migiledi.
13.02.2011
Savitri
Devika Rani (1908-1994) Devika Rani Chaudhuri, usually known as Devika Rani, was an actress in Indian films who was active during the 1930s and 1940s. Widely acknowledged as the first lady of Indian cinema, Devika Rani had a successful film career that spanned 10 years. Grand niece of Rabindranath Tagore, studied Arts at Royal Academy of Music, London, held a degree in Architecture, married Himansu Rai in 1929. After death of Rai in 1940,she married Russian Painter Svetoslav Roerich.
13.02.2011
Devika Rani
Subhadra Joshi (1919-2003) Active during freedom struggle, inspired by Gandhiji, was a Parliamentarian for 4 terms, pioneered various schemes for poor & women upliftment, Delhi Mahila Samaj Trust to help destitute. Herr stress was on Communal Harmony & National Integration.
23.03.2011
Subhadra Joshi
Umrao Kunwarji - Archana
(1922-2009)
Propagated Jainism. Wrote books, built Hospitals, Library & Welfare centers.
30.04.2011
Umrao Kunwarji
Woman in Healtcare. The Trained Nurses Association of India. (1908-2011) Hundred years of caring.
30.09.2011
Woman in Healtcare
Education for Woman Isabella Thoburn College, Lucknow. Founded by Ms. Isabella Thoburn, American Missionary to serve women in India, in 1870. It inculcates 10 characteristics: Health, Honesty, Dependability, Scholarliness, Broadmindedness, courtesy, Poise, Loyalty, Spirituality & Service.
12.04.2012
Education for Woman
Geeta Dutt
(1930-1972)
Prominent singer in India, born in Faridpur before the Partition of India. She found particular prominence as a playback singer in Hindi cinema. She also sang many modern Bengali songs..
03.05.2013
Geeta Dutt
Ruby Myers (Sulochana)
(1907-1983)
An Indian silent film star of Jewish ancestry, hailing from the community of Baghdadi Jews
03.05.2013
Ruby Myers
Durga Khote
(1905-1991)
An Indian actress, starting as one of the foremost leading ladies of her times, she remained active in Hindi and Marathi cinema, as well as theatre, for over 50 years, starring in around 200 films and numerous theatre productions.
03.05.2013
Durga Khote
Bhanumathi
(Paluvayi Bhanumathi Ramakrishna)
(1925-2005)
A multilingual Indian film actress, director, music director, singer, producer, book writer and songs writer. Most of her works are in Telugu and Tamil languages.
03.05.2013
Bhanumathi
Suraiya
(Suraiya Jamaal Sheikh) (1929-2004)
A singer and actress in Indian films in the 40s and 50s.
03.05.2013
Suraiya
Smita Patil
(1955-1986)
An Indian actress of film, television and theatre. Regarded among the finest stage and film actresses of her times, Patil appeared in over 80 Hindi and Marathi films in a career that spanned just over a decade.
03.05.2013
Smita Patil
Gangubai Hangal (1913-2009) She was initiated into Music by her mother Ambabai an eminent Carnatic Singer &sang welcome song at age of 11yrs in the Congress Session in front of Gandhi, Nehru,Sarojini Naidu & Abdul Kalam Azad. She was awarded Tansen Award,Padma Bhushan & Padma Vibhushan.
03.09.2014
Gangubai Hangal
D. Krishnaswamy Pattammal (1919-2009) Started learning Music at the age of 4 & was the 1st Brahmin Woman to sing on stage. She entered the male domain by singing Ragam-Talam-Pallavi. She was the 1st Carnatic Singer & the only one to have given concerts for 75 yrs. She was awarded Sangeet Natak Academy Fellowship, Padma Bhushan & Padma Vibhushan.
03.09.2014
D. Krishnaswamy Pattammal
Kasturba 100 Years of Mahatma Gandhi and Kasturba's Return from South Africa to India
08.01.2015
Kasturba
Save Girl Child, Educate Girl Child A Government of India scheme that aims to generate awareness and improving the efficiency of welfare services meant for women
22.01.2015
Save Girl Child, Educate Girl Child

On the International Women’s Day let us support the ‘Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao’ (Save girl child, educate girl child) initiative of Government of India to generate awareness and improving the efficiency of welfare services meant for women.

Let us work together
- To prevent gender based sex selective elimination.
- To ensure survival & protection of the Girl Child.
- To ensure education of the Girl Child.
- To improve the Nutrition Status of Girl Child.
- To promote a protective environment for Girl Child.

Compilation by Dr. Sumitra, Bangalore | Text and images by: Prashant Pandya, Vadodara

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